The issues facing New Zealand’s parents have changed significantly since last year, with many more reporting concern about their financial stability and wellbeing, according to research conducted by health insurer nib.
nib’s second annual State of the Nation Parenting Survey saw a significant rise in health-related concerns among parents, worries around behavioural issues taking a notable leap compared to the previous year.
nib New Zealand CEO Rob Hennin said the 2020 results were noticeably different to those gathered in 2019, with financial uncertainty also contributing significantly to personal stress – however, he said the findings have also helped nib identify product areas which could be adapted to better suit customer needs.
“We started the survey in 2019 to have a look at the trends and concerns facing parents, and it was very popular – so we felt it was appropriate to do it again during COVID-19,” Hennin told Insurance Business.
“The results are fascinating. This has been a year unlike any other, so we looked at how parents have been coping through lockdown. There were a couple of issues that showed significant changes – there was more focus on behavioural issues, and that was their number one health concern.”
“About a third of parents said that was their biggest concern, whereas last year, it was sleep,” he explained.
“The second issue was around levels of personal stress among parents, and that was recorded at 39% - much higher than last year, and that was being driven by financial uncertainty. Those two statistics have seen quite a big change.”
The results of nib’s survey have been made available to the insurer’s financial advisers, and Hennin said nib has also increased its mental health benefits as a result. It has also made donations to various mental health organisations including Lifeline and Clearhead, and is focusing on making their services accessible to its customers.
“We see these results as a service to our financial advisers, staff and business partners, and we make the study readily available to our members,” Hennin said.
“From a product point of view, we’ve increased our mental health benefits. Our everyday health product has cover for both psychologists and psychiatrists, and we focused specifically on mental health benefits in our corporate products.
“It really has helped us identify where to focus and what to improve.”